Dore provided the iconic illustrations for an edition of Dante's Divine Comedy, a book in three parts: Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven (Paradise). In contrast to the dreary and frightening scenes of lonely torture amid darkness and brimstone, these illustrations burst forth with radiant light. Angelic hosts and the souls of the blessed dead hover around the all encompassing light of God. It is a tour de force of majestic drawings that manage to convey the ineffable glory of paradise.
Is Heaven a place or a state of being close to God? This is a subject that has been debated by many theologians. For Dante, it was a place, just as real as Hell; but its complete opposite. A radiant land bathed in the light of God, where choirs of angels, and the souls of the dead who have lived lives worthy of admission into heaven, sing eternally the glory of God.